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MOSCOW, June 25. /TASS/. Russia still hopes for inter-parliamentary dialogue in the so-called Normandy format, despite the Ukrainian parliament’s refusal to hold talks on the issue, a senior Russian lawmaker from the upper house of parliament said Thursday at parliamentary hearings.
"I mentioned today the position of the Ukrainian Rada on the parliamentary dimension of the Normandy Four. Even if it’s like this now, it does not mean we should abandon our efforts and proceed from the assumption that nothing will come out of it; on the contrary, this work should be continued, and we will certainly do that," the Russian Federation Council’s international affairs committee head Konstantin Kosachyov said.
The senator also expressed the hope that bilateral relations between Russian and Ukrainian parliamentarians will sooner or later be restored.
"I don’t rule out that we will sooner or later, it would be strange to assume otherwise, be able to restore our bilateral discussions with Ukrainian colleagues," he said. "Without that it will be impossible to fully restore the traditionally friendly relations between our countries and overcome the current crisis in these relations."
Earlier Thursday, Kosachyov said Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada has given up inter-parliamentary talks in the Normandy format.
Kosachyov said he received a letter from German Bundestag (parliament) President Norbert Lammert, in which he said he "talked on the issue [of the parliamentary dimension of the Normandy Four] with Mr. [Volodymyr] Groysman, the Verkhovna Rada speaker, and heard a decisive ‘no’ from him."
"Our Ukrainian partners do not want to develop the parliamentary dimension of the Normandy Four," he said.
"I believe it’s another missed chance on the part of our Ukrainian neighbors and partners on the Minsk Agreements for implementation of the accords," the Russian senator said. "Let’s leave it on their conscience."
The Trilateral Contact Group on settlement in east Ukraine comprising representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on February 12, 2015 signed a 13-point Package of Measures on implementation of the September 2014 Minsk agreements.
The Package of Measures (Minsk-2), earlier agreed with the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine), included cessation of fire from February 15, withdrawal of heavy armaments, as well as measures on long-term political settlement in Ukraine, in particular establishment of working subgroups.
The ceasefire has been repeatedly violated by Kiev.